Friday, November 23, 2012


There is a moment in almost every art project that I take up that has me cursing this seemingly uncontrollable desire to make stuff.  It usually happens near the end when I realize that people are actually going to see this thing or interact with it in some way.  I lament and shake my fist at the ceiling, why, oh why must I do this to myself over and over?  It isn't about the actual work of whatever I am doing, although I do have those moments too, especially when the project is particularly large.  No, this lamentation is about exposing myself for all to see.

My thinking goes something like this, "Some people are content to sit at home and watch TV...why do I have to bare my soul so that people can look and criticize and judge?...Why can't I just make sweaters like normal people do?...."  And so on.  Then I bare my soul and usually enough people seem to appreciate it that it makes it seem worthwhile and, some months later, I repeat the whole process.  As I write this, it occurs to me that I have been riding this merry-go-round for over 20 years.  You would think I would get used to it, but it seems as ripe and fresh today as it did back in the 1990s.

I am bringing this up today because this post represents my 1000th posting on this blog.  One thousand little acts of baring my soul.  There have been many times when I have thought to give it up and, usually just as I have made my decision, I hear from someone who tells me that they really appreciate this or that point or idea and I think, "well, if it is helpful to someone..." and keep going.  But there are lots and lots of other times when it seems totally just narcissistic and indulgent and I feel a little sick to my stomach when I think about it.

Usually after I have a moment of nausea like that, I decide with great firmness that, from this day forward, this will be solely an art blog - no meandering into yoga territory or Zen territory or mothering territory.  No pictures of cute kitty cats, no lustful postings about touching this or that fleece, and definitely nothing about teenagers, their eating habits or hygiene.  Well, you see how that resolution has gone.  I truly admire those artists who maintain blogs that are amazing feats of design and content limitation.  How do they do it?  Then, I think about how all that stuff - the yoga, Zen, kids, cats - spills over into my art and about how much I love art that doesn't set up (to my mind) artificial boundaries between it and the life led by the artist.  So, why would I suddenly do that here?

You can call it lack of discipline or call it baring my soul.  You can call it foolhardiness or an unattractive desire to reveal all in a public forum.  I call it my big, fat, messy, apparently boundary-less life, as described by me, in 1000 pieces.


Patti Blaine said...

I call it notes from a very good friend and would miss it terribly if you sanitized it or took it down altogether! xoxo

ShannonAnn said...

Congratulations Robyn! People love your you can't stop now!

Martin said...

I love the stuff about your kids and the yoga and cats! I know exactly what you mean about the merry go round feeling of making art. I just had a mid career retrospective and I'm finally going to commit to NOT doing a giant art project for a while. After my next project that I have to finish of course. And then I was thinking about writing. Hmm. Keep up your wonderful blog!
Michele Karch-Ackerman

Robyn said...

Thanks for the encouragement! Let's see what the future brings....